West Ham striker, Mauro Zárate has opted to represent Chile instead of his native Argentina after not being named in Gerardo Martino’s latest squad and seemingly not nearing a call. With a Chilean father, Zárate is eligible and will now accept Jorge Sampaoli’s offer, according to his brother and representative, Rolando.
The talented 27-year-old striker actually won the 2007 under-20 World Cup in the same Argentina side as Sergio Agüero and Ángel di María but is yet to see a senior call-up.
Competition for places at current side, West Ham is limiting the playing time of Zárate and a place in Argentina’s squad looks no closer.
Due to his Chilean links, Zárate has long been courted by La Roja and, until now, rejected those advances in preference of Argentina.
Rolando told Argentine radio, “Mauro will play for Chile. He analysed the last call-ups for Argentina and said yes to La Roja.”
He added, “He had bad luck being the contemporaries of three players like Messi, Agüero and Higuaín. However, I think that he deserved an opportunity for everything he did at Vélez, but they did not give him the chance.”
In spite of his talents, it is difficult to argue that Zárate should be or should have been in any recent Argentina squads. At 27, chances of international football are slipping away so it is understandable that he would opt now to play for Chile.
Chile will host the Copa America next year and so Mauro Zárate may soon meet Argentina.